A Fit Pet is a Healthy Pet!

So you are watching the game as a couch potato and Spot is getting scraps of pizza as a treat while you both cheer on the Phillies. What’s wrong with this picture? Like you, Spot needs some exercise and needs to cut down on his junk food. As in humans, obesity in house pets can cause of a myriad of general health problems from heart disease to liver and kidney failure.

A surprising and eye-opening fast fact: One excess pound on a cat is equal to approximately 15 pounds on an average adult woman and 17 pounds on the average adult male. You would never let yourself put on 15 pounds because you know how you feel when you do, so don’t let your animal get fat.

While people food is never a good idea for your pet, exercise is the key to keeping them healthy and happy for many years to come.  Take your dog for a walk or jog, play laser pointer chase with your cat…there are a lot of ways to keep them active.  And remember that a tired pet is a lot less fuss; Spot and Fluffy are less likely to chew your shoes or scratch the furniture if they are ready for their afternoon nap!

Dana Spain

While her professional career has always been spent on marketing and communications; translating for a French Bank; being the Communications Director for her family’s retail chain; running a publishing company, and currently as a branding specialist for her own firm, Dana Spain knew her true life’s work would be saving animals. After volunteering for years at a local shelter, Dana wanted to provide a better way for homeless and abandoned animals to reach their forever homes. Dana was recruited to the board of the Alliance for Philadelphia’s Animals, a public-private partnership whose goal was to transform Philadelphia into a no-kill city. From that board she became the President of the Philadelphia Animal Care and Control Association (PACCA), the contracted animal control provider for the City of Philadelphia. Dana used the position to reverse a 90% kill rate to a 60% save rate in under three years. While at PACCA, Dana founded PAWS in 2005 to focus on lifesaving initiatives not paid for by the city contract.

PAWS opened its boutique Adoption Center in the Old City section of Philadelphia in January 2008 to offer a bright, neighborhood pet store that only featured animals rescued from the city shelter. PAWS, a 501 (c) 3, is now Philadelphia’s largest rescue organization and only no-kill shelter, and is working to make Philadelphia a city in which every healthy and treatable pet is guaranteed a home. Through its adoption locations, special events, and foster care network, PAWS finds loving homes for thousands of animals each year.

In March 2010, PAWS opened a low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter and wellness clinic serving pet owners and rescues in an effort to keep pets healthy and reduce the homeless pet population. Located in the Grays Ferry section of the city, the Clinic serves pet owners who have difficulty affording or do not have access to basic veterinary care (sterilization, vaccinations, treatments for upper respiratory infections/parasites/fleas, etc.) and rescue organizations that need affordable spay/neuter surgery and basic veterinary care to carry out their lifesaving work.

PAWS is completely funded by individual, corporate and foundation donations; they do not receive any city, state or federal funds. Support for PAWS funds lifesaving initiatives including adoption and foster care programs, spay/neuter surgeries, low-cost vaccinations, and other efforts, all of which help reduce and will ultimately eliminate the unnecessary killing of Philadelphia’s animals. Join the PAWS mission at www.PhillyPAWS.org.

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